Sick Man of Europe
Lambert M. SurhoneISBN: 978-6-1320-0450-5;
the mid-1800s to describe the Ottoman Empire, but has since been applied at one time or another to nearly every other mid-to-large-sized country in Europe. The phrase "sick man of Europe" is commonly attributed to Tsar Nicholas I of Russia, referring to the Ottoman Empire, because it was increasingly falling under the financial control of the European powers and had lost territory in a series of disastrous wars. However, it is not clear that he ever said the precise phrase. Letters from Sir George Hamilton Seymour, the British ambassador to St. Petersburg, to Lord John Russell, in 1853, in the run up to the Crimean War, quote Nicholas I of Russia as saying that the Ottoman Empire was a sick man—a very sick man," a "man" who...
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